Aparna (inspirethoughts) wrote,

Book Critique 2016 – 02/27/2016: Street Game (Ghostwalker Series #8)

Mar 23 2019: Updated the review and added spoiler alerts

Continuing with the critiques I started in 2015, here is the next in series – a book review.
Prologue: Go here.
For review of all books under Ghostwalker series: Go here.

Stars: 4 / 5
Recommendation: A definite pick if you are into paranormal romance with a touch of mystery, eroticism and the unbelievable.

Street Game is the eighth book in the Ghostwalker Series by Christine Feehan and published in December of 2009. The plot centers around Mack "Top" McKinley - leader of the GhostWalkers Team Three - and Jaimie Fielding - a computer genius and part of GhostWalkers Team Three. It is set in San Francisco.

GhostWalkers are a group of women and men who are sent on special missions. They have enhances psychic and physical abilities along with genetic modifications, using in some cases not just human genes but all kinds of animal and plant genes. However every GhostWalker would need an "anchor" to draw back the psychic backlash, especially that would instigate violence. They are complex characters trying to live with their enhanced abilities and at the same time fight against the corrupt people around them, executing their missions successfully. So far we are introduced to two teams of GhostWalkers Men serving in various areas of law enforcement and armed forces and one group of Orphan Girls on whom Dr. Peter Whitney had experimented. He has paired each of his GhostWalker men with the women in the hopes to breed the next generation of GhostWalkers.

In Shadow Game we had seen that Dr. Lily Whitney-Miller, married to Captain Ryland "King" Miller - head of Team One - find the details of the Orphan Girls that Dr. Peter Whitney had experimented on along with Lily. Now adopted or held in a different lab or on their own or more girls added as years progressed, Lily and Ryland are determined to find those girls now women, rescue them and provide a safe haven. So far they have rescued Dahlia Le Blanc, Iris "Flame" Johnson, Briony "Bri" Jenkins, Marigld "Mari" Smith, Saber Wynter and Tansy Meadows

We had met Brian Hutton in the sixth book, Predatory Game, where he was working undercover to protect Saber Wynter. And that is when readers came to know about two other GhostWalker teams that Dr. Whitney had created and are constantly sent out on missions. Other than that one reference there was nothing else in the next book by Christine, but she jumped right away into Brian's team - GhostWalker Team Three - with this book.

Mack "Top" McKinley and his team trace an arms dealer to terrorists to warehouses in San Francisco where they literally fall into Jaimie Fielding's abode. A computer genius who had gone awol after Mack broke her heart. And now she is in the same area where they are hunting the arms dealer. And neither of them on the team believes in coincidences, especially when someone else was hunting Jaimie and Mack, and someone else was giving them a hand. Jaimie, Mack and the GhostWalkers Team Three get caught up in this urban warfare where anyone could be your foe and anyone could be your enemy - a deadly street game, with very serious repercussions.

Christine spins a tale around a team who grew up from streets as family, and followed Mack, all the way to the GhostWalker program. With so many players in the mix, I was worried it might become a bit confusing, yet they remained unique and distinct to the reader's mind.

For some reason when I think back of this book, I remembered it as being set in Chicago, the first time when I read, only to realize it was set in San Francisco instead. Sometimes impressions stay wrong in a reader's mind, I suppose. It is also interesting to see that Christine builds a plot around a team that had been together since they were kids, and adds a pair in the mix.

With Kane and Brian introduced as part of Team Three, we get bits and pieces of their stories from Deadly Game and Predatory Game where both were first mentioned respectively. Christine neatly ties those inconsequential details from her past books in this, once again.
Urban warfare is an art that this team of Ghostwalkers have mastered. Christine not only takes the readers into the dangers and excitement of urban warfare, she also takes them through the world of computers, programs and artificial intelligence. An entire chapter is dedicated to encryption, passwords and artificial intelligence. At first glance it felt like a lot of technical jargon, but then that whole chapter showed the true nature of Jaimie, Javier and Paul, put forth their intelligence and proved them to be more than just some brains.

Christine also brings up the concept of psychic surgeons and psychic healings. First time I read this book, I couldn’t think this to be true, that someone could heal just by touch and energy. But after going through numerous sessions of Reiki in past year or so, I have come to believe such kind of people do exist, may be not as efficient as Christine portrays in the book, but there are those who heal people through touch and energy. Although somewhere subconsciously I knew such people existed, my brain couldn’t agree to what my mind and heart were reading.

It was a wonderful read to watch the team come together again, bond and learn to rely and trust each other.  The roller-coaster ride that Mack and Jaimie go through as they start to fall back in love again was sweet to read. Christine Feehan again brought in some well-executed combat scenes melded with romance in this book. Although surprisingly Christine has a lot of grammatical and character errors in this book again.

Each member of team also comes with hidden secrets, complex nature and makes you want to know them more and more. This is one team that I want to know more about than the others (not that I don’t want to read others. :P) and looking forward to the next episode with them. Another good book in the series that is enjoyable with a hint of thrill.

Spoiler Alerts:
1) Plot Reveals:
a. The enemies to the GhostWalkers that are ferreted out by this team, are in particularly looking for one of the GhostWalker women from Whitney's breeding program, who is pregnant. It is a clear segue by Christine to the next plot perhaps where she will base it around Rose and Kane, for Rose is the only one who was pregnant when all the girls escaped the breeding program facility in Deadly Game. Looks like Kane's story will be coming sooner than later.

2) Sub-Plots:
a. In the first book, Shadow Game, we were introduced to Dr. Brandon Adams - GhostWalkers own doctor who takes care of them as well as keeps them safe from Dr. Peter Whitney and his rogue super humans. In Deadly Game, another doctor, Dr. Eric Lambert, is introduced who takes care of these GhostWalker teams.

b. GhostWalker Team One, Army Rangers and Army Green Berets; first introduced in the first book, Shadow Game - under direct command of General Theodore Ranier. They plan to build a base in the mountains of Montana along-side Team Two as of Predatory Game.
i. Headed by Captain Ryland "King" Miller - His story was told in Shadow Game, and he marries Lily Whitney, one of the orphans from Group One and adopted daughter of Dr. Peter Whitney, at the end of that book. They have a baby boy - Daniel Ryland Miller - together in Predatory Plot.
ii. Nicolas "Nico" Trevane - His story is told in Mind Game, and he marries Dahlia Le Blanc at the end of that book.
iii. Raoul "Gator" Fontenot - His story is told in Night Game, and he marries Iris "Flame" Johnson at the end of that book.
iv. Kadan Montague, Ryland's second-in-command. His story is told in Murder Game, and he marries Tansy Meadows at the end of that book.
v. The rest of the team consists of Sam Johnson; Jeff Hollister; Ian McGillicuddy; Tucker Addison; Jonas Harper; Kyle Forbes
vi. Jeff Hollister goes through a very tough recovery when he was brutally experimented by Dr. Whitney in the first book, Shadow Game. We see more about him in this plot, recovering and getting better at his abilities, although he might have a permanent limp. I would like to see Christine pen a story for him soon more so because he is creeping into the reader's mind slowly.
vii. Tom Delaney, Sr., a decorated military man, enhanced by Dr. Whitney and used by the killer in Murder Game plot, despite his failing the psych evaluation, finally takes Kadan and his team's help in trying to reverse his enhancements and give him some measure of ease to live a normal life for a discarded GhostWalker. He will join Kadan's team once the treatments are complete and he is deemed safe.

c. GhostWalker Team Two, Paramilitary Ghostwalkers Team (Navy SEALs) working with NCIS; first introduced in the second book, Mind Game; under direct command of Rear Admiral Frank Henderson. They plan to build a base in the mountains of Montana where Jack and Ken already reside as of Predatory Game.
i. Headed by Logan "Max" Maxwell.
ii. Jack Norton, oldest of the Norton Twins. His story is told in Conspiracy Game, and married Briony "Bri" Jenkins, at the end of that book. Bri is pregnant with twins as of that plot.
iii. Ken Norton, the second Norton Twin. His story is told in Deadly Game, and married Marigold "Mari" Smith at the end of that book.
iv. Jesse "Jess" Calhoun - His story is told in Predatory Game, and married Saber Wynter at the end of that book.
v. The rest of the team consists of Martin Howard; Neil Campbell; Trace Aikens; Antonio Martinez
vi. When the GhostWalker Team Two was introduced in Mind Game, Christine had mentioned one of the members as Todd Aikens. But in Deadly Game, she names him Trace Aikens. Is he Todd or Trace? Had she named him first as Todd and then later changed it to Trace? Or are there both Todd and Trace?
vii. Christine adds a new team member, Antonio Martinez, to this team in this plot.

d. GhostWalker Team Three: Marine Force Recon Urban Warfare Team; first introduced in Predatory Game; under direct command of Sergeant Major Theodore Griffen. 9 men and two women who grew up together to form a family by heart, joined by a newbie now.
i. Headed by Mack "Top" McKinley.
ii. The rest of the team consists of Kane Cannon; Javier Enderman; Gideon; Brian Hutton; Jacob Princeton; Ethan Myers; Marc; Lucas; Rhianna; newbie Paul;
iii. Brian Hutton, the first member we met in Predatory Plot and had been interested romantically in Patsy Calhoun, Jesse Calhoun's - GhostWalker from Team Two - sister in that plot. Is he paired with Patsy? But Patsy isn't a GhostWalker? Or is she?
iv. We met Kane very briefly in Deadly Game. He had worked in the facility where Dr. Whitney had hid his other orphans from Group One, using them for his breeding program, and ends up getting paired to one of the girls, Rose. She is pregnant with Kane's child. And Kane is searching for her. So next plot perhaps?
v. In this plot, Javier and Rhianna seems to have a history and Christine alludes to them being lovers. And she is on loan with Mossad.

e. GhostWalker Team Four: Air Force Pararescue Special Forces Team; first mentioned in Predatory Game; more revealed in this plot:
i. Joe Spagnola, works undercover at Jaimie warehouse protecting her.
ii. Malichai Fortune - another member wounded twice when sent on deadly missions.

f. Group One of Dr. Peter Whitney's Orphans: Twelve orphan girls on whom he had conducted his experiments to make them psychically enhanced - Lily Whitney-Miller, the only girl he had adopted for himself; Dahlia Le Blanc; Iris "Flame" Johnson; Briony "Bri" Jenkins; Marigold "Mari" Smith; Tansy; Jonquille; Laurel; Rose; Camellia "Cami".
i. More about them is shown in Deadly Game
1) Ivy, supposedly killed by Dr. Whitney to teach the orphans girls a lesson;
2) Rose, Cami and Mari and two others live in a secret compound that Dr. Whitney has for his own army of super soldiers. Unclear if they were part of the first group of orphans or were they a second group of orphans.
3) Rose is pregnant with another GhostWalker at the compound, Kane, with whom she is paired with. In their effort to escape from the compound, Rose gets separated from Kane and her sister. A clear segue that a story would soon come up for Rose and Kane. And we know now that Kane belongs to Team Three.
4) In that escape effort, all the remaining four sisters also spread away. Curious to see how Christine will bring them back in.

g. Group Two of Dr. Peter Whitney's Orphans: Fist introduced in Predatory Game. Not clear if they were part of the 12 original orphans he had or were added on later - Saber Wynter, Thorn. Unlike his first group, they are not named after flowers.

h. The Fontenot family is introduced in Night Game - Raoul's three brothers (Wyatt, ) and his grandmother, Nonny. Wyatt is shown to have romantic feelings towards the lost and found girl, Joy Chiasson.

i. Dr. Peter Whitney who thought be dead in the first book Shadow Game, is shown to be alive as of this plot with more devious plots in his mind. As the books progress, we see the various kinds of horrific experiments he had done on the GhostWalkers - tracking them with a computer chip in their body; pairing the Orphan girls not only with one of the four Ghostwalker teams, but his personal enhanced team that he created using the rejected psychic candidates as part of his breeding program; injecting them with Zenith, a fast-healing medicine but with serious repercussions. He is revealed to be psychic in Deadly Game.

j. Dr. Peter Whitney's allies in his devious plots are:
i. Senator Ed Freeman, the one the Norton twins tried to rescue and were in turn kidnapped in Congo, is married to Violet Smythe - one of the Orphan Girls from Dr. Whitney's Group in the secret compound. She is also a GhostWalker paired to the Senator. The Senator gets shot in the ensuing battle between his super soldiers and Whitney's during the escape attempt of the orphan girls in the compound, in Deadly Game.
ii. Jacob Abrams, a loaded banker, and Senator Freeman's father, Andrew Freeman.

3) Grammatical / Historical / Location / Character Errors:
a. On Pg. 38, Line 5, it perhaps should be "…world of hunt now…"
b. On Pg. 112, Line 15, it should be "…there are some things…"
c. On Pg. 151, Christine shows Jaimie resting for two days after her psychic overload episode. But on Pg. 183, she alludes to the episode being only the night before.
d. Christine introduces Team Three comprising of 9 men and 2 women who grew up together and a newbie added to them making them a total of 10 men and 2 women, of whom one women is on assignment somewhere. On Pg. 212, she has 8 men pointing lasers at Mack. However on Pg. 216, Christine has Brian watching Paul and on Pg. 218 she has Gideon watching over their marks. So essentially on Pg. 212, barring Paul, Mack, Biran and Gideon, there should be 6 men pointing lasers at Mack, not 8, if the placement of her characters in rest of the pages aligns.
e. On Pg. 263, Line 8 from bottom, it should be "…looking up at a man…"
f. On Pg. 403, Line 6, it should be "…your father is waiting…"
Tags: books, critique by amateur, ghostwalker series, reviews

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